Community Magazine September 2021

20 COMMUNITY MAGAZINE How Do They Do It? Community Women Share Their Holiday Prep Secrets FRIEDA SCHWEKY Holiday prep can be a stressful undertaking anytime, but during the summer, when no one feels like cooking even an ordinary weeknight dinner, it can be particularly daunting. This year, with Rosh Hashanah set to arrive in early September, there seems to be no way around beginning prepping for the holiday in August. I, for one, after doing Pesach on my own for two years in a row thanks to COVID-19, plan on cooking as little as humanly possible and trying to be invited out as much as I can. I know this may not be an option for all, so I decided to see how some of our community’s shaatras are gearing up for the holiday season.  I’ll start with my fabulous mother-in-law, who does holidays like a pro. I can attest to step number one: she asks everyone for which meals they plan on joining her. She has already asked me several times this summer, and the answer remains the same: as many meals as she’s willing to cook, I’m willing to attend! I plan on cooking some dishes for her, but after a busy season in my photography business, I’m not looking to host any meals right after the summer. I’ll let her take over from there: Selene Schweky, Co-founder and Owner of SM Stitches My best advice would be to shop once. Don’t waste time going back and forth to the store; make sure everything is under one roof before you begin. How do you do that? Menu plan for each meal you intend to host. Then go through each dish and see what ingredients you need to buy, and that becomes your shopping list. Make sure you have it all on one list – down to the spices. Even if some things need to be purchased last minute because it’s fresh produce, if you have it down on paper, the stress is off and you shouldn’t forget anything. Organization is key! I recommend having one paper or note on your phone, as opposed to multiple papers or notes which can get lost.  Once you have your ingredients, you should start with what can be frozen. In the weeks leading up to the holiday, whenever you cook Shabbat dinner, make double recipes and freeze one for the holiday. I do this all the time, and it makes the meals far less daunting because you’re always chipping away.  My holiday dairy go-to’s: eggplant parmigiana, spinach jibben, calzones with egg noodles, fried cauliflower, and pistachio encrusted Chilean sea bass. These are all freezable.  My holiday meat go-to’s: Any kind of mechshe (hashu stuffed vegetable), fasuliah (white beans in tomato sauce), black beans, roast, shepherd’s pie – all freezable.  My holiday go-to’s for dessert: tiramisu, white chocolate cheesecake, almond butter cookies – all freezable. All you should have left to do on the holiday is prepare the fresh dishes, such as salads and fish, that require same-day preparation, and pull everything you already made out of the freezer!